December 2019 - E1Media

« Back to journal

E1MA’s Favourite Albums of 2019

It’s been another amazing year of music, the E1MA team have chosen the albums they’ve loved the most.

George – Melt Away by Jadu Heart

So I had a think, and it was a hard decision as a lot of new music to wrap my ears around this year – but I keep coming back to this one album again and again since its release in August, and it’s the one that I probably enjoy most on the whole over the countless others so, my album of the year is Melt Away by Jadu Heart. 

I first discovered them a couple of years ago when they released “I’m a Kid” which I think was probably one of my top tracks of 2017, and granted – they did do that annoying thing where they just whacked all their best tunes of the past few years on the album when it eventually came out, so I had already heard a fair few when it was released earlier in the year.

However I don’t think that takes away from that fact that it’s a stunning piece of work. Their tracks are the perfect mix of emotive yet upbeat – and they’re filled with reverbed guitar sounds and synth galore which is pretty much my whole music taste lol. Pitchfork describes their sound as borderless electronica which I think pretty much nails it, I’d describe it as a kind of chilled out psych-pop/electro.

Their lyrics can be a bit ??? But I’ve never really been one to listen intently to lyrics, and their melodies are spot on in my eyes and always make me get up in my feelings so that must count for something right? Their waves of musical bliss won’t be leaving my ears any time soon.

Ben – Nothing Great About Britain by slowthai

The first time I heard slowthai I disliked him. Now I love him. His music is very much like Marmite – you either love it or you hate it.

This album arrived at an important time. With Brexit constantly making the world news, the Northampton-born upstart explores what it means to be British. It’s a welcome change from the London-centric perspective that many UK rappers adopt. Slowthai speaks for the regular Brits who live in the forgotten mining towns of yesteryear.

What I love about slowthai is that he is totally himself. The way he delivers lyrics is raw and gritty but his wordplay is excellent. Very much reminiscent of Dizzee Rascal’s iconic 2003 debut album “Boy In Da Corner”.

The album straddles so many genres – UK Rap, Grime, Punk Rock – slowthai is remarkably adaptable. The featuring artists (Mura Masa, Skepta and Jaykae) add their own flair. It never feels as though slowthai put them on the album for “name-recognition” purposes. A special mention goes to the producers on the album – the razor-sharp instrumentals play the perfect backdrop to slowthai’s lyrics.

Joey – SOLACE by RÜFÜS DU SOL

Rufus Du Sol are an Aussie electronic trio that now live in LA. They they released their third album last year, ‘Solace’. Inspired by the ambient electro soundscapes of Jon Hopkins and Brian Eno, it was nominated for the Grammy award ‘Best Dance/ Electronic album’ last month. 

Following this album, they released ‘Solace: remixed’, this year – my album of the year. It is always a risk to release a remixed version of your own album and trust other musical artists with your work, but this is a great example of what a remix album should be. They have carefully selected artists in the dance scene that repurposes the album in an entirely new light. Artists from Audiofly, Icarus, Eelke Kliejn to Hot Since 82 really manage to capture the essence of their own style through the tracks.

As an added extra love of the trio – for some unknown reason – #innerbloomhowl became a social media phenomenon with people playing one of their old classics ‘Innerbloom’, to dogs, and the dogs howling along. Turns out that if you ask any dog what their favorite album of the year was, they would probably agree with me. 

Joel – Hoodies All Summer by Kano

In a year where a lot of leading UK artists released significant rap projects, Hoodies All Summer by Kano is the one that stands out for me. Three years after his last album, which I also loved, it felt about time for Kano to make a return and what he provided is a raw, politically charged and culturally significant body of work that will no doubt stand the test of time. 

With a range of interesting sampling and some choice features from the likes of Popcaan, Ghetts and former N.A.S.T.Y Crew co-member D Double E, the body of work as a whole is really special. I also saw him perform it live in Brighton in October and it was a truly faultless performance. Perhaps he is known more this year for the new Netflix-backed series of Top Boy, but for me his best contribution was this album.


E1MA’s Favourite Christmas Adverts

December is finally here and E1MA team have picked their favourite Christmas ads from recent years:

George – Digital Account Manager

So I’ve gone with the somewhat controversial Sainsbury’s 2014 100 year anniversary of WW1 ad;

I think it resonated with me because of the historical nature of the ad – it’s based on real events that actually happened in WW1. That along with the lack of products shown throughout kept the tribute and message (that Christmas is for sharing) genuine rather than just showcasing Sainsbury’s products the whole way through.

It also sparked a debate over how tasteful it was to use this historical moment and “glamourise it” for TV to use as a campaign to sell groceries. However the debate around this essentially just got more people talking about it – all press is good press right?

Joey – General Manager

I’ve randomly actually gone with Sainsbury’s too – but from last year: 

Aside from the now infamous, ‘plug boy’ at the end, this advert ticks a lot of Christmas advert boxes – cute kids, catchy music, and an overall Love Actually feel. The concept of a school panto resonates with both young and old, whilst the fancy dress manages to incorporate every aspect of Christmas; each time you watch it you see a new character.

 From the Queen’s speech on TV to Christmas cards, to wise men – they really have Christmas covered! The words in the song tie it all together at the end, and with no product placement – selling Christmas as a time for giving, and spending time with friends and family. (Awwww.) It’s a yes from me! 

Fun fact: 35 people reported the advert to the ASA for ‘health and safety’ concerns – you really can’t please everyone!

Ben – Junior Digital Marketer

Seeing as my actual favourite has been taken (thanks George), I’ve gone for another one I love – John Lewis’ 2014 ad:

It features Monty the Penguin (who doesn’t love penguins?). I appreciate how it focuses more on the ‘winter romance’ aspect of Christmas rather than the stereotypical elements like jingle bells or reindeer. 

It has absolutely nothing to with John Lewis and that’s what makes it so enjoyable. You never feel like you’re being sold to – it’s just a wonderful xmas short provided by John Lewis.

The CGI penguin is adorable and emotive – you genuinely feel joy when he finds love at the end! Tom Odell covers John Lennon’s ‘Real Love’ superbly to provide a wonderful backing track. I would argue that John Lewis haven’t managed to top ‘Monty the Penguin’ since its inception. 

I also highly recommend watching the Geordie parody version after – it’s canny good like! Especially as I lived in Newcastle for 5 years. It’s side-splittingly funny (a lot of swearing though, you’ve been warned).

Joel – Senior Account Manager

My favourite Christmas advert is actually this year’s IKEA advert:

My favourite Christmas advert is actually this year’s IKEA advert. It’s funny and not saccharine like a lot of Christmas ads. What I like most about it is that it shouldn’t work. D Double E rapping about someone’s messy house doesn’t sound very Christmassy at all, but that is what makes it great, it stands out from the crowd.

The concept is also just so strange in general that it provoked a lot of social media chat, proving it to be an effective marketing campaign not just on TV, but online, through the media and beyond.

Maha – Finance Manager

Holidays are coming, but they didn’t need to tell us that; we knew as soon as we saw the red glittery Coca-Cola trucks drive onto our screens. This nostalgic, feel good ad doesn’t seem to have changed in my lifetime, which must equate to marketing gold!

 It ticks all Christmas boxes, Father Christmas , snow, lights, Christmas trees adorned with decorations, snowmen. Whether you’re a Christmas lover or not, it’s hard not to like.